Amendments to the Aboriginal Relics Act

​Have your say on amending the Aboriginal Relics Act. Public comments close on 31 July 2016.

After consultation with the Aboriginal community, the Tasmanian Government is amending the Aboriginal Relics Act 1975.

The priority is to address areas of immediate concern and to then set a time for a full review of the amended legislation. This will be done through ongoing engagement with the Aboriginal community and the broader community.

What is proposed to be amended?

In seeking to amend the Aboriginal Relics Act 1975 the Government is proposing to address a number of inadequacies in the existing legislation, including by:

  • Removing the 1876 date reference;
  • Setting penalties for damage to Aboriginal heritage that are in line with the penalties for damage to non-Aboriginal heritage;
  • Exploring the potential for scaled offences in association with the removal of the ignorance defence and removal of the six-month time limit for prosecuting offences;
  • Establishing a statutory Aboriginal Heritage Council of Aboriginal people to advise the Minister;
  • Setting a statutory timeline for a further review of the Act; and
  • Considering a change to the name of the Act to the 'Aboriginal Heritage Act'.

What is the timeline?

The Government intends to be able to introduce legislation into the Parliament before the end of the year. The consultation period on the proposed amendments closes on 31 July 2016. During this time there will also be targeted consultation with Aboriginal community organisations and other key stakeholders.


How can I get involved?

The Background to Proposed Amendments document (below) provides a summary of the proposed amendments to the Act.  The priority is to address areas of immediate concern and to then set a date for a full review of the amended legislation.

We recommend reading this document before providing feedback on the proposed amendments:

  Proposed Amendments to Aboriginal Relics Act - Background 29 June   (282Kb)

How do I provide my feedback?

An online form is provided for you to provide and submit your feedback on the proposed amendments.

Provide your feedback using the online form

Submissions received will not be made available for public viewing on DPIPWE's website but will inform the Government's final decisions on the amendments.

How long will the consultation period last?

The consultation period closes on 31 July 2016.

We encourage all interested members of the community to be active in providing feedback on the proposed amendments to the Act. Your feedback will ensure that community views are appropriately reflected in the amendments.




Amendments to the Aboriginal Relics Act
Policy Branch
Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment
GPO Box 44 Hobart TAS 7001